Seven Sisters à la Kaleidoscope!

This is so pretty! I love the kaleidoscope effect.

Monkey and I think you might want to use this technique in Electric Quilt for the Love the Lines Contest, but the instructions and tips apply even if you don’t have EQ.

Whether you call it kaleidoscope, One Block Wonder, Stack-n-Whack ®, or just fussy cutting, we want to show you how easy it is with Inklingo!


This fabric has been in my stash for at least 10 years. I think it has great potential for a kaleidoscope effect.

I want my kaleidoscope fabric to have:

  • pretty colors
  • a variety of shapes
  • no “background”
  • lots of movement and swirls
  • size of design appropriate to the size of the shapes

Is the size of the design right for 2 inch 60° Diamonds?

TIP!  I printed a page of diamonds from Inklingo on ordinary paper to make a window template and placed it printed-side-down to see what the diamonds would be like.

The size of the shapes in the fabric seems to suit, don’t you think?

  (Click for larger view.)

The  page in the Catalogue of Shapes for Diamond Layout A gives me suggested custom page sizes for 6 or 12 diamonds at a time.

There are 4 different layouts for diamonds (A, B, C, D)  in the Inklingo 60° Diamond – 2 inch shape collection. All of them are suitable for this method.


I decided to start by printing 6 diamonds at a time, so I cut the freezer paper (FP) 5 x 9.5 inches.

Fussy cutting always wastes some fabric, but this doesn’t look too bad.

I need to print 6 sheets to have enough identical diamonds for each star.

If there seemed to be excessive waste, I would try another Inklingo diamond layout or another size of FP to see if it worked better with the repeat of the design in this particular fabric.

(When I print the rest, I will cut the FP 7.25 x 9.5 for 9 diamonds per sheet because there will be less waste with this particular fabric. Live and learn. Also, there would be less waste if I printed strips of 60° Triangles to make hexagons.)

Notice where to position the corners on the design.


Iron each sheet of FP in position, making sure the design in the fabric is the same where the corners of each FP sheet are positioned.


I cut with scissors at the ironing board (tips in an earlier message).

TIP!  Don’t cut around the first sheet until you have ironed the next one in position. That way, the first one is a handy reference to make sure the second one is positioned identically on the design.

Use a hot, dry iron. No steam!

TIP!  Most jams are caused by the freezer paper separating from the fabric in the printer. Jams should be very rare if you wash the fabric to remove the sizing and use a HOT, dry iron.

Press on the fabric side and the FP side to get a good bond.

With the right amount of heat, you can avoid jams—and the freezer paper should peel off neatly, so you can use it over and over again.

Six identical sheets all ready to print, each with 6 diamonds!

TIP!  I must make sure that each sheet is printed identically, so I put a mark on each sheet of FP indicating which end should feed into the printer first.

  Click to see the perfect lines!

Printed! Ultra-fine lines. No templates! No measuring!

6 sheets of 6 diamonds for 6 stars

Every diamond is printed perfectly with cutting lines, stitching lines, matching marks, and precision corners, so there is no measuring, and the diamonds line up perfectly.


Remove the freezer paper, use a rotary cutter or scissors to cut the diamonds apart, and stack them in 6 identical piles.

There are tips for rotary cutting several layers at a time in an earlier blog post, including video.

No machine has as many advantages as cutting with Inklingo:

  • Every shape is perfect without measuring.
  • You can use scissors if you want a portable project.
  • Every diamond has precision corners.
  • There are stitching lines and matching marks on every diamond!
  • You can sew by machine or by hand because of the lines on the fabric.
  • Use the tools and printer you already have!

Sort 6 identical diamonds into 6 piles and start playing with the shapes!

Arrange a set of 6 diamonds in the star shape. There are two options for the center, depending on which way the diamonds are turned.

I can hardly wait to see how these will look! This step is fun.


Here’s a good example of the surprising effects.

The star on the left has the diamonds positioned with the pink end toward the center. The star on the right has the same pieces of fabric turned so the pink end is toward the outside.

Isn’t it amazing how different they look?

I like to try both ways before deciding which point of the diamond looks best in the center.

Sometimes it is very hard to decide—because they both look fabulous!

TIP!  You may find that a digital photo of each option will help you make up your mind.

When you decide, pin each set of 6 together.

TIP!  I insert the head of the pin closest to the point I have decided to place at the center of the stars (above).

Machine piece or hand piece?

I was not in the mood to get the machine out, so I hand pieced while I watched TV with Russ. Hand piecing helps me relax—especially when I know everything fits so perfectly!

If I felt like machine piecing, of course I could, and everything would line up because every shape is perfect and there are precision corners and matching marks on every diamond.

 Click for a larger view!


These press perfectly!

All of the seam allowances in this star are pressed counterclockwise around the center.

Notice how this eliminates the bulk in the intersections! Your stars will look their best and be easier to quilt.

TIP!  If you press all of the stars identically (all clockwise or all counterclockwise around the center), when you add the rest of the diamonds, the pressing will be perfect over the entire quilt top.

This method works with One Block Wonders by Maxine Rosenthal.

However, I probably don’t have enough fabric and it says 1999 in the selvage, so there is no hope of getting more. I can make a bigger quilt by adding the gold background fabric to set the stars as Seven Sisters.

Note to Self:  When you love a fabric, buy the bolt because you never know. . .


I love the way this is turning out!


There are several other Inklingo shapes which would work just as well as these diamonds.

By the way, there are 8 other messages on the blog related to  fussy cutting. (Select Category in right sidebar.)



Seven Sisters could be your choice for the Love the lines Contest because there are many sizes of Inklingo 60° Diamonds.

TIP!  Monkey suggests that you start with the  Baby Blocks Quilt Layout and take the Fussy Cut tool for a spin! The Fussy Cut Tool is a Quilt Worktable tool in EQ6 and EQ7, but it is not in the toolbar by default. To add it, click the Customize Toolbars button > Add/Remove Buttons > add the check mark. Click away from the list to close it—and prepare to have some fun!


Every fabric is completely different when it is used this way. I would love to see photos of your kaleidoscope blocks, so please share them on your blog and let me know, okay?  If you don’t have your own blog, you can share photos on the Inklingo Projects Blog and in the Inklingo Yahoo Group.

I can’t get enough of these!  Don’t you just love playing with fabric?

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

Inklingo for Beginners

Tilde’s 15 Minute Challenge

9 thoughts on “Seven Sisters à la Kaleidoscope!”

  1. Love reading about the fussy cutting technique. It’s great to have a refresher every now and then . Sky’s the limit with Inklingo!

  2. Great post Linda. I love fussy cutting with Inklingo, it really isn’t difficult at all. Only problem I ever had was my old (worn) printer wasn’t grabbing fabric or paper evenly and I couldn’t rely on it to print each page correctly time after time. I was glad to get rid of that frustrating printer!

    My blog shows some 3 inch ‘kaleidoscope’ hexagon blocks I made from some Amy Butler fabric:
    One of these days I’ll pause from other projects and finish them!

  3. UPDATE I printed 6 more and sewed them during a re-run of Doc Martin last night. They are so gorgeous I can’t stop gazing at them! Photographs soon, but I think they look even more fabulous in person.

  4. Thank you for the wonderful step by step once again for fussy cutting.
    The stars are lovely and I agree with the wish I bought more feelings LOL Happens all to often

  5. Those are absolutely gorgeous! I love the effects from fussy cutting. Makes me want to haul out some fabrics and do some fussy cutting for that kaleidoscope effect!

  6. We can never get enough fussy cutting, eh? 🙂
    Even after all these refreshers, there are still quilters who think you can’t fussy cut with Inklingo!
    It makes you look at your stash differently, doesn’t it?


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